Compare And Contrast: Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Immigration Policies & His Poll Results

Joe Arpaio has been called “America’s toughest Sheriff” and he doesn’t cut illegal immigrants an inch of slack. Here’s a hit piece from AFP called “Toughest sheriff in US vows no let up in immigration fight,” that talks about the issue,

He’s been described as Hitler and a member of the Klu Klux Klan by Hispanic critics and immigrant rights groups, but Sheriff Joe Arpaio prefers to see himself as an equal opportunities advocate. “We lock everybody up,” he says.

Arpaio, the self-styled “toughest sheriff in America” has ruled his fifedom in Arizona’s Maricopa County with a steely, zero-tolerance that has enraged human rights activists but delighted headline-writers the world over.

Demonstrations and picket lines follow his sweeps of largely Hispanic neighborhoods. He’s been criticized by mayors and the governor of Arizona.

On a recent Mexican holiday, one group batted around a Joe Arpaio pinata, an effigy filled with sweets that children attempt to split open with a stick.

… His latest crackdown against illegal immigrants began about 18 months ago.

He has nothing against immigrants — his parents were Italian immigrants (‘legal’ he adds pointedly) — or Mexicans, he says.

For Arpaio, illegal immigration is a fairness issue. Why should some people wait years for citizenship through the proper channels while others slip across the border?

“The minute you crossed the border, you violated the law,” Arpaio said. “There’s no doubt that illegals are involved in drug trafficking and other crimes. Many of them, maybe the majority, come here to work.

“Still, it’s illegal to come here. I’m going to continue to enforce the law. I took an oath of office. I’m the bad guy. That’s okay. It’s alright with me.”

Arpaio’s last sweep sent 200 deputies, helicopters, and an armored car into a one square-mile Latino-dominated town, pulling over anyone with a cracked tail-light or a broken windshield.

He rejects claims that his department is targeting anyone with brown skin.

“We don’t racial profile,” he said. “We lock everybody up. I’m an equal opportunity guy.”

… Workers’ rights and immigrants’ rights groups say Arpaio’s policies have created a climate of fear.

Elias Bermudez heads Immigrants Without Borders, an immigrants’ rights advocacy group. Arpaio’s policies are discriminatory and “not conducive to a county that is 30 percent Hispanic,” he said.

“He has abused his authority and his elected position to create havoc and a feeling of terror in our community,” Bermudez said.

“He has capitalized on the fear and vulnerability of people who came into this country without documents, not in defiance of the laws of the United States, but because this country does not have a legal mechanism to seek work with documents.

“This is a problem of developed nations against undeveloped nations, and it is a problem that needs solving.”

Arpaio’s sweeps will continue as long as he is sheriff, he says.

So, Arpaio is as tough as they come on illegal immigrants and the Left hates him for it. He has been called “Hitler,” they beat pinatas of the guy, and he’s in a county that’s 30% Hispanic. So surely, he’s about to be turned out of office, right?

Not exactly. Buried near the end of the piece was this paragraph,

His public support — 80 to 90 percent approval ratings in polls — make it unlikely he will lose a campaign for re-election in the fall.

Let’s see: being extremely tough on illegal immigrants, even in a county that’s 30% Hispanic, equals an “80 to 90 percent” approval rating?

All you Republicans out there who insist that the GOP has to be soft on illegal immigration and support amnesty: are you looking at those numbers?

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